Virtual War: Google Steps Up Competition with Facebook

Isaac Cain
May 20, 2017

Google and Qualcomm have partnered on a standalone Daydream VR headset.

For the past year or so, Google has been reported to be working on a standalone virtual reality headset that wouldn't require display support from a smartphone or tethering with a PC.

Daydream was unveiled previous year with the Pixel and has expanded out to a handful of other devices like the Moto Z. Google's augmented reality platform Tango has been up until this point available on a limited number of phones - namely, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and Asus ZenFone AR. Google has presented its new standalone headset, which will feature Daydream powered by dedicated chipsets and sensors. The new headsets will have improved tracking, according to Google-key for having a more immersive experience.

As no external device, such as a smartphone or computer, is required to power the headsets, the website says that users won't have to worry about tripping over wires and "latency should be non-existent". However, yesterday at the annual Google I/O 2017 developer conference, Google unveiled an upcoming "revolutionary" standalone VR headset that aims to change that. Clay Bavor, Google VP for VR, detailed that the project stemmed from the question "How can we take the best parts of smartphone VR and create a kind of device with an even better experience?"

HTC Vive is to build a virtual reality headset that will run on Google's newly-expanded Daydream platform.

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Google has announced that its Daydream design will be available in the market before the end of this year.

WorldSense also builds on Google's Tango technology for augmented reality, which allows devices to track motion and understand distances and their position.

"We've got to remove more of the friction in using these devices".

Google also announced new AR functionalities for Chrome too, showing off a demo with e-commerce retailer Wayfair.

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